Normandy TV Star Farmer in the Dock

ThierryWeddingHe became famous on a French reality TV show, Amour est dans le pré, but now Normandy farmer Thierry Olive is in the news again for a very different reason, accused of falsifying the paperwork for animals he sold on to other farmers.

The winner of French television’s Love in the Meadow series, the French equivalent of a Farmer Wants a Wife, has appeared before a tribunal in Coutances accused of selling calves he claimed were for beef rearing when in fact they were a cheaper milking breed.

He found love on the programme, married in September last year and went on to build his fan base even further by releasing songs on YouTube, writing his biography and amassing thousands of followers on Face book.

But his latest escapade in the public eye is less salubrious as he stands accused of selling 16 calves that he falsely claimed were beef animals. Mr Olive told the court that there were code errors on the paperwork that he completed.

The case has been postponed until November after the judge asked for more information on the breeding documents and paperwork completed for the animals. If found guilty he faces a fine of €500 and paying court costs.

Mr Olive farms in Ver, a hamlet near Gavray in Manche, and relishes the limelight. He is known for his outspoken attitude and saucy remarks.

But his outgoing attitude is perhaps not appreciated by the farmers who bought his calves. It began when a neighbouring farmer in Montaigu-les-bois has to update his paperwork. ‘In May 2010, Thierry Olive sold me a calf presented as a valued meat calf when it was a dairy animal,’ the farmer, who has not been named, told the authorities. He added that he realised what had happened but decided to castrate the animal and let it graze on his farm and not to take the matter any further.

But when he came to update the animal’s passport the authorities noticed that the paperwork was wrong and an investigation was launched. They discovered that more animals have been sold by Mr Olive in similar circumstances between May 2010 and September 2012. The difference in price between a beef animal and a milker is around €135.

On arriving at the tribunal Mr Olive said that he was proud to be a farmer and he stood by the authenticity of his animals which he has been breeding for over 10 years. He claimed that his good name is being dragged through the mud by people who are jealous of his fame and success and said he will go on hunger strike and even chain himself to the Eiffel Tower if he is found guilty in November.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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